ORPHIC FRAGMENT 90 - OTTO KERN

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For links to many more fragments: The Orphic Fragments of Otto Kern.

SUMMARY: This fragment consists of two quotations about the region above the heavens.

90. (116) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 396 b. c p. 60, 26 Pasqu.:

ἦ δῆλον ὡς ὁ ὑπερουράνιος τόπος καὶ < add. Pasqu. e Platone> ἀχρώματος καὶ ἀσχημάτιστος καὶ ἀναφὴς οὐσία καὶ πᾶν τὸ νοητὸν πλάτος, ὡς μὲν ἂν ὁ Πλάτων (Τίμαιος Πλάτωνος 31 a) εἴποι, τά τε νοητὰ ζῶια περιέχον (Pasqu.] περιέχων codd.) καὶ τὴν | 61 Pasqu. μίαν τῶν αἰωνίων πάντων αἰτίαν καὶ τὰς κρυφίους τούτων ἀρχάς, ὡς δ᾽ ἂν οἱ Ὀρφικοὶ φαῖεν, ἄνωθεν μὲν ὁριζόμενος τῶι Αἰθέρι, κάτωθεν δὲ τῶι Φάνητι - πάντα γὰρ τὰ μεταξὺ τούτων συμπληροῖ τὸν νοητὸν διάκοσμον.

“Is it not evident that they are, the supercelestial place, an essence without colour, without figure, and without the touch, and all the intelligible extent. An extent comprehending as Plato would say intelligible animals, the one cause of all eternal natures, and the occult principles of these; but as the followers of Orpheus would say, bounded by æther upwards, and by Phanes downwards. For all between these two gives completion to the intelligible order.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816)

σχόλιον Ἑρμείου επὶ Φαίδρου Πλάτωνος 247 c (Φαῖδρος Πλάτωνος 247 c: τὸν δὲ ὑπερουράνιον τόπον οὔτε τις ὕμνησέ πω τῶν τῆιδε ποιητὴς οὔτε ποτὲ ὑμνήσει κατ᾽ ἀξίαν. “But of the heaven which is above the heavens, what earthly poet ever did or ever will sing worthily?” trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892) p. 146, 28 Couvr.:

εἰ μὲν ποιητὰς ἀκούοιμεν τοὺς τρίτους ἀπὸ τῆς ἀληθείας, τουτέστι τὸ πλῆθος τῶν τῆιδε ἀνθρωπικῶν ποιητῶν, ὥστε ἐξαιρεῖσθαι τοῦ λόγου Ὅμηρον καὶ Ὀρφέα - εἴρηται γὰρ αὐτοῖς περὶ τοῦδε τοῦ τόπου, καὶ Ἡσιόδωι καὶ Μουσαίωι -, πρόδηλον τοῦ λόγου τὸ ἀληθές, ὅτι τῶν τοιούτων ποιητῶν τῶν πολλῶν καὶ τεχνικῶν (τεχνίτω M) | 147 Couvr. οὐδεὶς ἐφικνεῖται (ἀφικνεῖται M) ἐκείνων ἀξίως, ἀλλὰ τῶν ἐνθέων ποιητῶν οἷος Ὅμηρος καὶ Ὀρφεύς. εἰ δὲ πάντας ἁπλῶς ἀκούοιμεν τοὺς ποιητὰς ὥστε καὶ Ὅμηρον καὶ Ὀρφέα περιλαμβάνεσθαι, δῆλον ὅτι καὶ ἑαυτὸν συμπεριλαμβάνει, ὡς οὐδὲ αὐτὸς ἀξίως εἶπεν δυνησόμενος· ὡς ἂν οὖν εἰ ἔλεγε ‘τὸν δὲ ὑπερουράνιον τόπον οὐδεὶς μὲν τῶν ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐν τῆι ποιήσει ἀξίως ὑμνήσει, μόνος δὲ ὁ Ἀπόλλων καὶ ὁ τῶν Μουσῶν χορός.

“If we wish to hear and understand the poets third from truth, that is to say, many of the men, of the poets, inasmuch as to take out of the account (from consideration) Ómiros (Ὅμηρος) and Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) – for they want to speak about this passage, and with Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος) and Mousaios (Μουσαῖος) as well. From the account, the truth is clear, that of poets from many books, of those who compose from cleverness, not one writer attains as much, but, rather, (the best comes) from the inspired poets such as Ómiros and Orphéfs. But if one wants to hear from all the poets simply, including those such as Ómiros and Orphéfs, you can gather the evidence together, such that not all that has been told is worthy. In any case, it is (properly) said, ‘Indeed, concerning the region above the heavens, there are no men worthy to praise this in poetry, but (the only ones worthy are) Apóllôn (Ἀπόλλων) and the dance of the Mousai.’ ” (trans. by the author)

Cf. frr. 99. 107


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Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.

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We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology.

Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.


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